Mitochondria are self-replicating organelles widely recognized for their role in energy metabolism. While the field of human ARTs has been obsessed with the role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) as a potential biomarker of oocyte or embryo quality, the rest of the biomedical research community has come to appreciate the many roles mitochondria play in a variety of cellular processes having little to do with mtDNA. This lecture will draw attention to the “separation of powers” between somatic cell and germ cell mitochondria that distinguish roles in cell survival, stress responses, and signaling prior to and following fertilization.
At the conclusion of this session, you should be able to:
1. To explain the difference between mitochondrial genomes and functions
2. To summarize the role of mitochondria during oogenesis
3. To evaluate the paradox of metabolic quiescence in preimplantation embryos